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Legal news from Thursday, June 23, 2011
by Chris Morris

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Thursday rejected former US representative Richard Renzi's (R-AZ) appeal to have an extortion case against him dismissed. Renzi is under indictment for allegedly using his political office to profit from a real estate deal in 2005. He argued that negotiations regarding the deal, entered as …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A military court in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) on Thursday sentenced four policemen to death for killing prominent human rights activist Floribert Chebeya last year. Cherbeya, a member of the activist group Voice of the Voiceless, was found dead in his own car in June 2010. Eight men, all DRC policemen, were …

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by Zach Zagger

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said Thursday it will decide whether it will issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi and two high-ranking officials on allegations of war crimes. The Pre-Trial chamber will deliver is decision on the application for warrants against Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam, and his …

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by Julia Zebley

A Danish court on Wednesday sentenced Somali Islamist Muhideen Mohammed Geele to an additional year in prison for his 2010 attack on Kurt Westergaard, illustrator of the controversial 2005 cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a suicide bomber. Geele had already been sentenced to nine years in prison …

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by Chris Morris

International Criminal Court (ICC) Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo officially requested permission from ICC judges Thursday to begin investigation into the Ivory Coast after determining that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in post-election violence since last November. Moreno-Ocampo said that thousands have been killed …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 in Freeman v. United States that an individual whose sentence is imposed under a plea agreement may be eligible for a reduced sentence if the US Sentencing Commission (USSC) subsequently alters the sentencing guidelines. The Sentencing Reform …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court on Thursday voted 6-3 to affirm the lower court in Sorrell v. IMS Health, finding Vermont's Prescription Confidentiality Law a violation of freedom of speech under the First Amendment. The law attempted to stifle the common practice of drug manufacturers gathering prescription records from …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-4 to reverse the lower court in PLIVA, Inc. v. Mensing, holding that since generic drugs and their warnings are managed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), their federal regulations on warning labels preempt state law on warning labels. Justice …

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by Zach Zagger

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 in Bullcoming v. New Mexico that the Confrontation Clause does not allow laboratory reports containing testimonial certification to be entered into evidence against a defendant without the testimony of the analyst who personally observed the test and certified the report. Donald …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

The US Supreme Court on Thursday ruled 5-4 in CSX Transportation v. McBride that a Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) railroad negligence claim does not require proof of proximate cause. Respondent Robert McBride worked as a railroad engineer for petitioner CSX Transportation. McBride initiated …

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by Chris Morris

Three human rights groups released a joint statement Wednesday in support of the sentencing of former Tunisian president Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali but also criticizing his trial as unfair. The International Federation of Human Rights, the Tunisian League of Human Rights and the National Council for Freedoms in …

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by Julia Zebley

The US Supreme Court on Thursday voted 5-4 to affirm the lower court in Stern v. Marshall, agreeing that the bankruptcy court did not have jurisdiction in this instance. The opinion, delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, explained that the bankruptcy court judge has a limited role beyond bankruptcy's core …

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by Chris Morris

The New Hampshire legislature voted Wednesday to override the governor's veto and approve legislation requiring healthcare providers to notify parents or a judge 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor. Governor John Lynch vetoed the bill last week, but it was passed by a vote …

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by Zach Zagger

A special court in Afghanistan on Thursday overturned the election results of nearly 25 percent of the assembly seats due to poll fraud in last September's parliamentary elections. Head of the special court Sediqullah Haqiq announced the ruling that 62 out of the 249 legislators in the Wolesi Jirga elected last year have …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

A judge for the Court of Appeal for Ontario stayed an April 11 ruling that the country's marijuana laws are unconstitutional. Justice David Taliano of Ontario's Superior Court of Justice invalidated the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR) in April, finding that the program's mechanisms for licensing patients to access medical marijuana [JURIST news …

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by Julia Zebley

Dutch politician Geert Wilders was acquitted of all charges on Thursday, the court finding his anti-Islam statements were not hate speech or discriminatory. Wilders has made several "anti-Islam" comments as a political official, including: several comments similar to "I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam"; comparing the Koran to Mein …

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by Maureen Cosgrove

Turkish authorities on Wednesday arrested two military officials alleged to have been involved in the Balyoz Security Operation Plan ("Sledgehammer" plot), a military plot to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government. Lieutenant General Ziya Guler and officer Bulent Akalin were arrested after appearing in court to testify about documents related to the …

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by Erin Bock

A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit heard arguments on Wednesday regarding the constitutionality of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), specifically the individual mandate provision that penalizes all citizens who fail to purchase health insurance. New Jersey Physicians, Inc., …

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by Erin Bock

A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled Wednesday that Florida's procedure for imposing the death penalty is unconstitutional. Florida's death penalty statute [Fla Stat Ann § 921.141 text] provides that the jury in a capital case is to make an "advisory sentence" to the court based on whether …

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